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Sat Mar 22 2014 10:42:48

Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
Your blogs and forums have been extremely valuable, not only to myself as a tech startup co-founder in the ecommerce space, but also to my husband, who is a professional online seller through eBay, Amazon, and Bonanza.

In building an ecommerce platform, I want to refine some sticking points that others have had with eBay, especially as it relates to feedback. Feedback is necessary, but it deserves to go both ways (buyer and seller). I hate seeing my husband held hostage by some buyers for fear his high DSR will be affected. It's criminal, figuratively and sometimes, even literally (when buyers manipulate the system to get free merchandise).

I'd love to find out what long time sellers would like to see in the ideal, fair feedback system. Essentially, what would a feedback system wish list look like?
Thanks,
GC




Comments (16) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch   Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sat Mar 22 19:04:36 2014

Personally, I thought the feedback system where both buyers and sellers could both leave positive, neutral, or negative feedback for each other was the best. The DSRs are not needed as people could indicate in their feedback if the item was not as described or there were excessive postage charges. I know some posters here have proposed a Yes/No feedback system, with space for further comment, i.e., Was the item as described? Yes/No; Response: Yes, In fact it was in better condition.  

Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch   Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sun Mar 23 22:34:21 2014

The entire feedback system was revised for two purposes.

The first was to coerce sellers into behaving in ways that were/are best for ebay.

The second was to provide the carrot of discounts knowing full well the carrots would change seller behavior and buyers would eliminate seller discounts.

It was a very sophisticated, slow motion bait and switch scheme that the FTC should investigate along with many other ebay policies.

It's ALWAYS about the money.

Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch   Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Sun Mar 23 23:43:13 2014

As unsatisfactory as the two way feedback system was it at least kept everyone cordial.  

It was in everyone's best interest to try to work it out, to be as kind and considerate to others as possible.  Years ago, we used to marvel around the office about how nice everyone was!

When ebay in their wisdom made the one-way feedback system the standard we saw the power concentrated on the buyer side, and as you all know some unscrupulous persons take advantage of that fact. Even using it to cheat others.  

Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch   Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 24 01:01:04 2014

Reviews no longer work in a world where people are ignorant of so many facts and do not read the title, let alone the ad. Example of two I saw recently for other sellers. ''Item was in excellent condition, but it did have creases from being put in a package. That is disappointing, but I still like the skirt. I give this seller a 6 out of 10.'' (Poshmark review). If I was able to rate her review, I would give her a 2 out of 10 for her lack of knowledge on what happens to clothing that is folded. An Ebay negative given to book seller that I don't think I will ever forget. ''Book was horrible reading and poorly written.''  An Amazon review for a book. ''I didn't like the book as I thought the main character should have gotten the girl.'' Rating was a 2 or 3 for the book. Reviews, feedback or whatever you want to call it, are prone to whims, moods, untruths. Yes there are good reviews out there, but there are many out there that are bad and in so many ways.
I can't help think of Jay Leno's little treks down the street. asking folks simple questions and getting really poor or strange answers. You have to keep in mind that in many cases, it is these same folks who are handing out reviews, or feedback. Personally, I think anyone who opens up on a public forum, ought to be able to answer, ''Who was the first President of the United States?,'' before they be allowed to post. Of course, that is just my opinion and it may be too harsh for some.    

Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch   Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch

by: KathleenJohnson This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Mar 24 03:57:34 2014

eBay's feedback system has evolved into system that provides significant fiscal benefit with respect to fees for those Sellers that perform at a standard that results in Buyer behavior that does not involve Customer Service interaction in any form.

It only resulted in behavior modification on the part of the Seller. The Buyer was left with the ability to extort the Seller over "feedback threats" resulting in free merchandise for the Buyer or covering for buyer remorse to the detriment of the Seller.

Overall, eBay's feedback system has resulted in a hostile buying/selling platform - you only have to cruise the multiple boards to find proof of that.

Public efeedback will always attract the heavy handed skewed feedback from those who elicit attention from inflicting harm through the power of the keyboard.

The feedback system was designed on a flawed premise from the onset - that all feedback would be equitable and reasonable. And despite the failings, eBay has persisted trying to make the flawed system fly with a broken wing for years and years because, on the surface, to the general public - it looks like its credible.

Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch   Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch

by: fgilles02420 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 24 05:24:09 2014

There are thousands of ecommerce sites that function just fine without feedback. Your payment processor is your best line of defense when it comes to lack of service (not received/not as described).

But if you have to have feedback, or a rating of some sort? Base it on metrics.

Did the seller ship on time (via posted tracking)?
Did the seller respond promptly to questions/complaints?
Did the buyer have to file a dispute which they won?

If a seller's rating is based on measurable facts rather then hysterical opinions it would more accurately reflect their level of service. I remember years ago on the ebay boards there was a member who would constantly encourage unhappy buyers to ''ding all the seller's stars'', whether they were dissatisfied with what each star stood for or not. It was simply a way to get back at the seller for any perceived slight.

I stopped selling on ebay back in 2008 when the system was changed.

Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch   Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 24 06:04:56 2014

Last week I was explaining the ebay feedback system to an ebay buyer. Told her if a seller had nothing but 4's (which is marked as good) they would be kicked off ebay. Also mentioned that a neutral is a negative because it is not positive. She laughed and asked me to repeat what I just said. Ridiculous was her response.   She found that hard to believe someone would be kicked out because they were good and not super excellent.
She buys from both sites Amazon and ebay. More so on Amazon because she feels safer. She also hates being bugged for a feedback from both sites. a turnoff is the word she used. She will leave feedback when she has the time, not a  high priority on her list. Working 60 hours a week doesn't leave room for sitting down and writing a feedback immediately. The main reason she buys online is that she doesn't have all the time to go out shopping with the work schedule.
Bottom line is that not everyone understands the feedback system or the stars involved.
The stars should be eliminated. Dual feedback reinstalled. Total sales should be included in everyones feedback/reviews. If it is made real simple and fast, then everyone would be happy. What can you learn about a seller on Amazon when the sellers only get 10-15% feedback???? Not a fair system either.

Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch   Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch

by: doboy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 24 07:13:20 2014

All it takes is one or two nitwit "newbies" to kill a Top Rated Seller.

Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch   Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Mar 24 09:03:51 2014

@ doboy
One buyer can not cost a seller their TRS standing, whether that seller is eval'd on the previous 90 days or the previous 12 months.

To measure your overall performance accurately, we'll count 1 and 2 ratings only if they come from 2 or more buyers within any given evaluation period. If you have more than 400 transactions, 3 or more buyers must leave low detailed seller ratings before they are counted. Also, if the same buyer accounts for more than 80% of your 1 and 2 ratings in a single category, we will only count one low detailed seller rating from that buyer for each applicable category.

Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch   Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch

by: gadget This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 24 10:53:27 2014

EBay's old feedback system was the best I can think of, where buyers and sellers were allowed to rate one another, and make one follow-up response each.

There is no such thing as a bullet-proof feedback system. All one can do is create such a system that works as best it can.

I would add to it the ability for buyers and sellers to change their feedback once, if mutually agreed on by the other party.

Star systems do not work. Witness the mess Etsy has made with their formerly adequate feedback system, now changed to an 'item review' with stars, that is inappropriate for a site of vintage and many other OOAK (handmade) items. Might work for a site filled with manufactured goods, as long as it's clear the reviews are solely about the item, not the vendor.

Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch   Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 24 11:20:22 2014

In the old two way FB system, a seller could block buyers who received too many negs.  

This was a self policing system, the buyers who were trouble had their activities on ebay curtailed by those buyer requirements.  

This was what kept everyone trying to be kind, to work it out.

Now all buyers have 100% positive FB. What possible value is that?  

Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch   Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Mon Mar 24 15:10:44 2014

"Now all buyers have 100% positive FB. What possible value is that?"

It amazes me to read how many still think that “non-preferred” merchants have any future on eBay, and refuse to recognise Johnny Ho’s message: eBay is molly coddling buyers because the Ho only want buyers, as many as he can get, to funnel to his “preferred” merchants: only those hundreds(?) of the world’s major brands, manufacturers and retailers, that Johnny Ho has said he hopes to attract to his new up-market online “Westfield Mall”.

As far as Johnny Ho is concerned, and he has indicated it so publicly, if you are not one of the “major” players then you are an irrelevant “noise”, and if, and as, he becomes more successful at attracting more of his “preferred” major players, you will undoubtedly feel an increasing measure of Johnny Ho’s disdain for you. The point is, I suspect that you “ain’t seen nuttin’ yet” …

Now, what about those post-eBay plans? Or are you planning on going down with the rusting old scow when it is finally realized that Johnny Ho’s delusion of converting the eBay Marketplace into an online “Westfield Mall” is not going to succeed, and that he has, in the meantime, done so much damage to the eBay brand that it won’t even be able to successfully return to being the world’s greatest flea market?

Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch   Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 26 17:19:36 2014

You first have to be serious,  use common sense and behave like an adult which most buyers who steal are will not and cannot.
For some reason we do not have any execs at ebay with any loss prevention experience in retail so they are unaware that some buyers are out to screw the seller because they have given them a guarantee they will get something for free if they wish and they have given them the negative feedback weapon to which a honest seller has no defense.
It all should have been left alone and not changed, period.
Buyers can see the feedback if it is a bad seller believe me you will know it but now honest sellers are being harmed by this one way fraud fed system that has become a joke. Now neutrals are about to become negatives again.
What in the world is wrong with the people making these policies? Why would you do such things? It is just plain absurd to feed fraud, retailers all over America our revamping and backing off on what is allowed to be returned because of fraud and theft but ebay is doing the opposite it is like it is being done on purpose to harm people.
It is clearly bullying and it needs to stop.
If sellers can leave negatives and see how many cases a buyer has filed, and neutrals are neutrals and buyer protection claims are properly policed than things would be better but right now as it stands ebay is certainly going to see another exodus of sellers.  

Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch   Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 26 23:35:18 2014

(Do Precisely the OPPOSITE of what ebay does, and you will have the best FB system on the planet).

I am NOT kidding and this is the very best advice you could ever get.

Mass Howler

Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch   Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 26 23:46:21 2014

Refugee makes and EXCELLENT point - absolutely no experience at loss prevention-excellent- excellent point- a beer for the refugee.

MH (did I say excellent)?

Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch   Building Marketplace Feedback System from Scratch

This user has validated their user name. by: permacrisis

Sun Mar 30 09:31:11 2014

Do it like the old ebay did it, but allow 250 characters of text.

Include the following tabs: from buyer, from seller, left for others, and negatives. The negatives tab, when clicked, should display negs and neutrals, but the numeric count should only be for hard negs.

No alternative site has yet had the courage to ONLY run auctions. 'Buy It Nows' are what prevent the alts from catching fire.  

Auction behavior is essentially irrational and emotional.  Buyers at auction are addicts.  The original incarnation of eBay understood this.



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